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5 Ways to Open Your Mind and Feel No Fear When you understand why things do or don't happen, you stand a better chance of repeating results.

By Brent Ritz Edited by Russell Sicklick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Often, business leaders and those in positions of authority get so caught up in their competitor's actions that they forget to focus on their own business, which can lead to disaster. It is easy to become distracted and freeze in fear when your opposition is taking action that alarms you or that you don't understand.

Sometimes, business leaders spend so much time focusing on those actions that they forget their strengths and capabilities, and the reason they looked at their competitors in the first place. After all, once you see things that put you out of your comfort zone, it is easy to become so wrapped up in trying to understand someone else's moves that your own business suffers through lack of your attention at a critical time. This freeze as we'll call it can significantly hold you and your business back.

In times of difficulty or change, it is essential that while you review your competition, you don't lose sight of your own capability, no matter what you see. To give your business the best chance of success, and the best of yourself, you must not let a competitor's actions distract you from focusing on your plans or remembering what you do best. This is not advice that tells you not to learn from or observe the competition, but advice that tells you not to get so wrapped up in the whys of what they are doing that you lose your way to drawing on your own experience and knowledge.

It is also easy to feel so lost that you do not know what to do, especially when there is no clear path. It may help to call on your faith, pray for assistance or spend some quiet time for the answers to come through. Keep feeling overwhelmed without changing your approach or asking for help, and you could end up going around in circles, still not achieving any movement or growth.

Related: The Stoic Entrepreneur's 7 Maxims of Personal Growth

Give it time

Failures often occur simply through not giving time or showing the commitment demanded to make things happen. Lack of will or perseverance is another reason many leaders or professionals fail, and this is something that needs fixing if you want to build a business or create a mindset that will see your or your business survive and thrive. Failure can sometimes occur because time isn't given to studying the process or results. When you understand why things do or don't happen, you stand a better chance of repeating results. Changes are often pulled or given up on just when the benefits are about to become apparent. Again, the answer is giving things time to set in.

Let's look at an example — while you may not be a football fan, you can't help but see the analogy to many a sacked football manager. When a football team replaces their manager, club owners often don't appreciate the time the new hire needs to make their changes stick to start to win games. It's essential to allow time for the benefits to show. Even the best manager will need time to re-mold players, change how they think and settle in with the changes. In the short-term, this can lead to a run of match losses or draws, at which point many club owners start to doubt their choice and in some short-sighted cases, sack them and start another hunt.

Irrespective of a manager's track record, it takes time to see results. Yet many are rarely given the time they need, as change for the better is expected instantly. In comparison, owners and teams that accept that change takes time to reap the rewards and trust their instincts and experience that led them to the person or original choice will often find themselves right when things settle, and the change has the time it needs. Those who have the confidence to remain focused on their own plans, ignore calls from the crowd and have trust in themselves will ride and reap the benefits by not giving up just at the point where success is knocking.

Keep your eye on the ball

Eliminate all distractions and keep your eye on the ball. It's essential to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Work in a way that embraces any issues to achieve a balance that enables you to retain relentless focus and drive on the task if you want to succeed. If you know your weaknesses, and you should, work with others that can support you.

Do the right thing

No matter how big the temptation or adversity you face, you must always do what you say. Remain true to yourself and what you know is right. This will gain you respect from others. People will be more likely to follow and support you if they know you will always do the right thing, no matter how tough.

Smash the glass ceiling

Don't be tied up by other people's expectations of you or their opinions on your ability. This is especially important if others have told you that you are incapable of doing something or if it doesn't seem to be a good fit for you. Don't let other people's comfort zones hold you back or become yours. You can never be sure they have your best interests at heart. Some people will seek to hold you back through their own need to feel superior or just adequate, which is certainly not what is best for you. Keep your mind open, and don't jump in a box that others have prepared for you or let them set your ceiling.

Enjoy the journey

Of course, having an end goal in sight will help you plan your journey, but what is the point if you don't enjoy the trip? Reaching the finish line is a fleeting moment in time that passes all too soon, so make sure the journey to get there is enjoyable as well. This helps for two reasons; first, it makes every day have the potential to be good as you are likely to work harder and commit more to the journey if you enjoy it; second, the result may not be all you hoped for, leading to disappointment and a reluctance to try things again. If the journey was good but the results poor, it will be much easier to assess what went wrong and set off again, hopefully on a journey with a better finish line.

Related: Why Inner-Mastery is key to Self-Growth

Final words

While often used in 12-step programs to beat addiction, there is a saying to keep in mind when on a journey to any kind of change. After all, you are in control of your own journey and will do better when you understand and trust yourself.

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

These are powerful words, and an ethos business owners and leaders would do well to live by.

In conclusion, if you open and stretch your mind, don't let others sway or distract you and certainly do not be frightened or blinded by the actions of others. You will succeed. So go out and give the very best performance you can and be the one leaving their competitors frozen with fear or distracted by the tremendous impact you are making.

Related: 5 Ways Personal Growth Makes Your Business Stronger

Brent Ritz

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor


Brent Ritz is the founder of UBER. At one point in time, Ritz maintained 16 qualifications and licenses, primarily in finance. Ritz has studied design, real estate, business administration and law.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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